December 28, 2011

This Week: Flash #4

Category: Out This Week — By

As Central City remains dark from the recent EMP blast, The Fastest Man Alive remains in hot pursuit of the one who set it off: Mob Rule! What does Mob Rule really want? Learn the rest of his origin right here!

Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO; Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL; Variant cover by ERIC BASALDUA; 1:200 B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL

Four-page preview at Hero Complex.

Also: Teen Titans #4 featuring Kid Flash.

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Category: Covers — By


Check out each and every Flash Christmas cover here!  Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2011

Flash #4 Preview is Up!

Category: Flash News — By

The LA Times blog Hero Complex has a four-page preview of The Flash #4, arriving in stores next week. The preview sheds more light on Manuel Lago, and begins the origin of Mob Rule.

Tip: I found that the slideshow viewer makes the pages too small to read. Fortunately, they provided direct links to the images at the end of the article.

Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO; Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL; Variant cover by ERIC BASALDUA; 1:200 B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL

As Central City remains dark from the recent EMP blast, The Fastest Man Alive remains in hot pursuit of the one who set it off: Mob Rule! What does Mob Rule really want? Learn the rest of his origin right here!

The Rogues in DC Universe Online (Pictures)

Category: Flash News — By

Johnny Wellens sent in these screen captures of the Rogues and other Flash Villains in the DCUO: Lightning Strikes game expansion.

He comments:

Here are The Rogues as they appear in DC Universe Online. I have only two issues. Why is Piper a villain again and why does Professor Zoom have Zoom’s costume? No answers from the developers on these decisions at this time. But I can tell you that it is so much fun to run around Central City, Metropolis, and Gotham looking for The Rogues.

I haven’t played the game myself, but it looks great — and like great fun!

December 21, 2011

Wayback Wednesday: Keeping Comics on Schedule

Category: Opinion — By

With the New 52, DC Comics is making a point to get all their comics released on time. In recent years, scheduling delays had become a joke, with even high-profile series like Final Crisis shipping weeks or even months late. And let’s not even get started on the Flash schedule from Rebirth through “The Road to Flashpoint,” which changed on an almost-weekly basis.*

A few years back, I wrote about different ways to keep comics on schedule. The solutions I came up with at the time were:

  • Alternating artists with each new storyline. (Batwoman is taking this approach, alternating between J.H. Williams III and Amy Reeder.)
  • Series-of-miniseries with enough lead time that each mini stays on time. (Hellboy and BPRD.)
  • Fill-in artists within a story. (DC’s preferred method on event books.)
  • Fill-in issues. (Back in the Silver Age, this was the standard approach. These days, readers tend to see them as an interruption.)

I go into these in a lot more detail in the original post.

These days, DC seems to be changing creative teams left and right, some for editorial reasons, others now doubt because they’d already fallen behind. That seems a little drastic to me, but I’m sure there are those who would disagree.

My personal preference is still alternating artists per story. With proper planning, it keeps any ongoing arcs moving smoothly, while still preserving a consistent artistic statement within each story. Though I also think planning one-shots ahead of time that can be written or drawn by a guest but still fit into the overall arc has its advantages as well.

How about you? What’s your preferred method of keeping comics on schedule?

*I actually wrote a program to retrieve DC’s listing for upcoming issues of Flash: Rebirth once a day and notify me if the date had changed.

Reader Questions: Explain the Speed Force

Category: General — By

Steven Ogden asks:

I’m a huge Flash fan. He’s without a doubt my favorite superhero. Unfortunately, there’s only one thing I don’t understand: the Speed Force. I don’t understand how Barry Allen created the Speed Force. Is it some kind of magical force? Hope not, not a big magic fan. If anyone can take the time to help a Flash fan out I’d appreciate it.

Well, Steve, there are a couple of ways to look at the speed force, from simple to complicated. Let’s start with simple.

The name is a little misleading. The speed force is basically a field of energy which exists just outside reality. Speedsters like the Flash can tap into this energy, which makes it possible for them to perform feats of amazing speed. With practice, they can learn to manipulate this energy as well, stealing and lending speed from other objects (or people). It also produces an aura that protects them from friction, so they don’t burn up running through the air at a zillion miles an hour.

If the Flash draws too much energy (basically, by running past the speed of light, the cosmic speed limit), he risks losing himself in the field. In the pre-Flashpoint universe, this has happened to Max Mercury, Johnny Quick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Savitar, among others. Wally was the first to return from this fate, but not the last.

Then things get complicated. Read the rest of this entry »